A couple of days ago, the National Accountability Bureau recovered Rs330 million from the home of a former excise officer, Khawaja Wasim. The officer is just a 16-grade employee of excise in Lahore. One can imagine the top brasses of the governmental departments. The officer has also been accused of transferring money to his foreign accounts and illegally benefitting from the amnesty scheme introduced by the government two years ago.

Two years ago, NAB recovered more than 730 million from the home of the Finance Secretary of Balochistan, Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani. He was accused of embezzling from local government development funds.

These two are just examples of corrupt practices of the people at the helm of affairs. You name any government department where you think everything is going smoothly and transparently. The country is being run by such people since its inception; with some exceptions of course. People need money to survive and to gain power and of course to gain respect in societies like ours. So, we all want to get rich in no time. Corruption is one of the fastest ways for this.

The IK government had come into power with anti-corruption slogans more than two years back. Insiders say that government officials were really afraid of the newly-formed government of PTI for a short time but soon they realised the limitations of the government, and they restarted their old ways.

On his visit to China, once PM Imran Khan had expressed his wish to send 500 corrupt officials to jails. One asks who bars the PM from doing so? Wishing to nab corrupt officials is different than to make a mechanism to hunt them down.

President Xi Jinping had launched an anti-corruption drive back in 2012 and netted more than a million. The high-level corrupt officials are termed ‘Big Tigers’ while low levels are dubbed little flies. China has executed many ‘big tigers’ on corruption charges and taking bribes during their services setting examples to stop corrupt practices. Among them were some big guns of the ruling Communist Party of China. One may not believe in our country but China has put many army high officials behind bars for corruption.

China also nabbed hundreds of fugitives suspected of corruption as part of the anti-corruption effort. Through the Fox Hunt campaign, China has conducted activities in many countries and brought back many fugitives through Interpol.

China is a vast country with different autonomous regions and centrally-governed provinces. It is not easy to hunt down corrupt officials but the Chinese managed it. The presence of the party’s organisation at the grassroots level was a major help to hunt down corruption and abuse of power at the hands of the officials.

China had set up different hotlines to report corruption. Even the Chinese military launched such hotlines and mailboxes to combat corruption. The use of technology and electronic monetary transactions such as WeChat and Alipay payments also helped the Chinese anti-corruption drive during recent years to track the money trail. It all has become possible only because of the dedication of the Chinese leadership to eradicate the corruption and abuse of power and to give relief to the masses.

According to the Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International in January of this year, Pakistan slipped three spots from the previous year. Last year, Pakistan was ranked 117 out of 180 nations. So, what the PTI government has done so for the eradication of corruption is invisible.

PM Imran Khan had wished to put corrupt elements behind the bars like China but unfortunately, his government has not followed the dedication of Chinese leadership in this regard. The PM should realise that wishing and doing are two different things. Instead of making tall claims in speeches and TV interviews, the government should devise a comprehensive strategy and awareness campaigns to combat the menace of corruption.